As an independent pump manufacturing company, we are constantly striving to deliver goods and services that meet or exceed the abilities of large, multinational, organizations. Visitors to our plant often comment on the historical richness of our industrial buildings, which date back to the 1920’s, in contrast with the conspicuous modernization of supporting equipment like machine tools/fixtures, instrumentation and lighting.
The most recent evidence of our investment in modern machine tools is the installation of a new Okuma vertical turning lathe commissioned this past January. The new model V80R machine has been located adjacent to a larger model V100R in support of a cellular manufacturing philosophy. The new machine’s configuration supports either one or two machinists in the cell, dependent upon the day’s demand.
The nature of our business model mandates a high degree of manufacturing flexibility to support a low volume, high variability mix of parts. The V80R meets this challenge with quick-change tooling which yields as much as a 50% reduction in setup time. Further, the lathe’s efficiency produces, on average, run time savings between 30% and 50% compared to the manually and numerically controlled machines it replaced.
This type of strategic investment is mandatory for us to remain competitive in an ever shrinking global marketplace. Reduced machine setup times, run times and instances of unplanned (and scheduled) maintenance combine to enable us to slash overall manufacturing cycles. The real value in this type of investment, however, is dictated by how it improves our ability to more reliably deliver pumps, parts and services that make our Customers more successful. As we approach a century of existence located in upper downtown Denver, balancing the old with the new is a requisite for us to remain a viable partner in the world of pumps.